Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

Where do we get our moral leadership — preachers or TV/movies?

Billy GloverApril 15, 2009.

One of the basic arguments we get from religious bigots is that without religion, their god and church, synagogue or mosque, there would be no basis for morals, integrity, and education of future generations on our heritage as a people.


The evidence I go by was reinforced this week by seeing some old movies and TV shows, and what I got was better moral leadership from these sources than any preacher, rabbi or imam I have heard — in fact I have heard none of such people saying that the Islamist or Christian terrorists are evil and wrong.

I think members of our community/movement need to think. The fact is that much of our work was harmed in the early days by the failure of the media to hear us, thus meaning few people knew of our work and ideas, including homosexuals who were deep in their closet.

Much of the problem of homosexuals (or people preferring homosexual sex) comes from religion, laws based on religion, and mental health people whose “thinking” also comes from religion more than they seem to understand.

So what have we heard from religion? Not much except how bad we are and a few quotes from a book that not only has been badly translated but has hundreds of different interpretations, not only on the issue of homosexuality but even how to baptize or what day of the week we should give to our god.

But what have we been getting, for several years now, from the media, the “industry” and writers of TV shows and movies? A lot. All good. But does the average person know how much such resources affect our lives and how others view the world, including views on homosexuality? I don’t think so.

In fact, often, when some person or show does try to cover our issue they get no congratulations and support but negative feedback if they don’t do and say the exact thing some PC person, self-appointed, thinks is “right.”

So here is a list of a few such shows that should have been on the radar of every person concerned with discrimination against homosexual Americans.

I watched two older movies: I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Anyone who watches these two movies, and many others, and doesn’t consider them gay-friendly and gay-supportive, has a personal problem with themselves. These shows and the people behind them should be honored. And the probability is that millions of people who have seen these shows are less anti-gay than they were before the movies.

By the way, local people seeing a new movie channel over the air (not on cable/satellite) from the local CBS station are seeing many promos for non-profits, and one is a series of ads against using the word gay negatively. I wonder if this “message” is heard in any local churches?

Most people have heard the humor on shows of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, on Comedy Central, and know that they are not anti-gay and make fun of bigots of all sorts. Again, I know of no preachers who speak out against bigots like such TV shows do. I do know, from seeing the DVD, that Hal Holbrook’s show of Mark Twain does.

And what is the average viewer seeing on TV shows? Good things, in my area anyway. I only am concerned that we do not know in advance when a good show is coming on. For instance, last night the ABC TV show Cupid was about a teenage homosexual boy being bullied at school. How relevant since this week another such boy committed suicide in Massachusetts. Have many preachers spoken out against people who don’t protect our children from gay bashing? So we get better advice from movies and TV than from our so-called moral leaders.

We must do what we can to be sure that anyone needing support knows where to get it. That is why we need PFLAG, yet support for some chapters has been falling (such as the Houston chapter).

But why is it that some parents and school personnel still don’t know about GLSEN, which exists solely to support children suffering for their sexuality?

And do LGBT newspapers and magazines list resources for their area? Have such publications as Gayellow Pages been mentioned in our media?

And have we challenged the academic community and professions to provide information to students and people on their work? Do law schools cover the duty of school boards to provide protection for students? Do medical schools cover problems, mental and physical, that homosexuals may face? Have history professors stopped trying to delete homosexual history from coverage, and literary professors stopped hiding the homosexuality of famous writers? It is the bigots who have the “agenda.” Do they fear that if the average person knows the facts about homosexuality it will make them gay?

Hopefully, gay marriage, aka same-sex marriage, will not only be everywhere soon but that the process is going to educate us all on what life as second-class citizens means and thus why we and all Americans deserve equal/civil rights.

How sad that the push for civil rights for us, as was the real case for blacks, women, etc., not only does not come in most churches, but in fact those churches harbor and support bigots who quote their ignorance of their guide book against us as they have against equality for races, sexes, etc. And it was they who supported the decimation of American Indians/Native Americans in the name of “saving” them and didn’t stop if it took killing them to save their souls — which of course meant that “we” could take away their land.

At least when the movies gave us the good cowboys and bad Indians, they knew they were exploiting the subject and making up history and have now moved on in the real world of this century.


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